Tag Archives: Episode 6

True Blood 306: Kill Bill gories up a notch

Let me straighten your necklace, Your Maj.

Hot on the heels of the most amusing episode, this was the most tense – possibly ever, but certainly in this series. My stomach was in knots from the start, and my dreams were filled with blood and torture. Terrific stuff, chaps – keep up the good work! As well as being stressful, this episode raised as many questions than it answered. Which was no mean feat, as it answered a lot of questions an’ all. Here are my top ten questions yet to be addressed:

1. As Russell is almost 3000 years old, why is he called Russell? It’s apparently an old French name: but surely it’s not biblically old? Perhaps he changed his name because Talbot thought Methuselah didn’t go with the decor. Ok, I guess I’ve answered that one.

2. Bill seems a smart guy. So why, if he wanted to be of any use at all to the captured Sookie, did he stake a vampire guard? He knew it wouldn’t go down well. Neither did his attempt to spike Russell. Talbot was once again appalled by the mess on his carpet. Poor chap, I do feel for him. Blood is so hard to get out of soft furnishings – just ask Sookie. I wish they’d distract Talbot by having Eric flirt shamelessly with him. Oh yes, so they have.

3. Hasn’t Tara been watching True Blood? I can’t believe she thought that smashing Franklin’s head in with a silver mace would finish him off. He’s going to turn up all healed next episode, you mark my words, and he’s going to be rather miffed. A stake, cupcake, that’s what you need: a stake. Say after me: ‘I need a stake.’

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Glee 206: A kiss is just a kiss

I know we don’t watch Glee for its gritty realism. I accept that in real life, high schools aren’t crammed with elderly-looking kids who all have Broadway-standard singing voices. A certain suspension of disbelief is vital in Glee-land, we understand that. But the writers mess with this too much, provoking even uncritical fans into yelling at the telly, ‘AAARGH! That’s just SO unrealistic.’

This week I give you:

  • An all-boys school in which gay students are not only warmly welcomed, but are leaders of the pack.
  • An epidemic of students – female as well as male – imagining the football coach to stave off premature arrival, and calling out her name, yet!
  • Coach Beiste claiming to be forty.
  • Puck returning from juvenile detention centre with an orange tan and a certain plumpness around the cheeks. Did he have some work done while in there?
  • The least plausible make-out scene ever in the history of television (between Tina and Mike).

So wrong it's right.

I checked the credits to see if two writers shared this week’s episode, as the main storylines were of such differing quality. But no – step up, lone writer Mr Brad Falchuk, clearly a fellow wrestling with the effects of strong medication. He holds responsibility for the Grilled Cheesus debacle, but also wrote the wonderful Preggers episode in Season 1, in which the football team did All The Single Ladies. In this current episode how could the same person who gave us the superb storyline between Kurt and Dave-the-Bully also give us the face-palmingly awful Coach Beiste plot? I’m afraid I have no answers, only questions.

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True Blood 206: Not much fun left in feeding on the willing

Official antidote to True Blood anxiety

This episode was so stressful that as soon as it finished, I had to watch an old DVD of Everybody Loves Raymond to calm my heart-rate. If it wasn’t Bill being menaced by his old girlfriend (and I mean old), it was Sookie being dragged screaming into the basement of Steve Newlin’s dodgy church. And if it wasn’t Lafayette having post-traumatic flashbacks, it was Sam about to be sacrificed at a mad Maryann bacchanal. It was just one darn thing after another.

Though I knew it was coming, I was still gutted when Daphne betrayed Sam. I wanted Sam to finally have a bit of romantic luck. Yes, Daphne turned into a deer. But so what? As they say in Some Like it Hot, nobody’s perfect. Then she turned into a pig instead, and we knew she was Maryann’s bitch. All right, sow. Even Andy chasing her into the undergrowth, calling, ‘Pig? Pig?’, couldn’t dispel the sense of doom.

Brief aside to deliver a high-five to the special effects people who invented the blank dark orgy eyes thing. Very clever – simple, yet scarily effective.

Once again, Sookie's pathetic telepathy failed to help

Sookie hooked up with Isabel’s human, Hugo, a Tom Hanks lookie-likey, to infiltrate the Fellowship of the Sun.  They didn’t make a very good job of it, being almost instantly rumbled by crazy man Steve, who alienated his wife by being not just vicious, but by using inappropriate cuss words. Sarah worked through this in her religious way, by prayer and soul-searching. Oh no she didn’t, she worked through it by having sex with Jason right there in the church, insisting God definitely wanted them to do it. Just guessing, but I wonder if the TB writers aren’t too fussed about organised religion? We keep getting these little hints. Before they got captured, Hugo expressed incredulity that Sookie hadn’t thought of asking Bill to ‘turn’ her. We’ve been kind of incredulous about this too, but then Sookie is famously not the sharpest fang in the mouth.

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Glee (6): It’s not cheating if everyone does it

Once again, Glee set about gently skewering American life. This time, it pricked with a hypodermic the belief that drugs are bad, m’kay, only when illegal.

To spy on Will and Emma, Terri-ble got herself hired as school nurse, despite having no qualifications other than the ability to fold a towel neatly (though of course that is quite important). When Will pointed out her lack of training, she raised her eyes to heaven: ‘Please, Will, it’s a public school.’

She then dished out decongestants like jelly beans, insisting they were completely safe because they were over-the-counter. They had a similar effect to speed, and acted on everyone so favourably (except Rachel, who always seems to be on amphetamines), that were I watching with a teenager I would have felt impelled to deliver a stern just say no message. Luckily, I wasn’t, so I could simply make a note to self to get hold of some of those babies.

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Gavin & Stacey: Do you, Nessa? Do you love him?

At last, it was Nessa and Dave’s big day. But we all knew that Smithy was going to burst into the church at the eleventh hour, and play his part in a ferociously annoying Graduate/Four Weddings pastiche, from which only Dave Coaches emerged with any credit.

I kept losing concentration due to plunging into plot holes. When Stacey told Gav she was pregnant, she did so via a shoe-box full of positive predictor tests. I forget how many she said she’d done – how much wee can she do? – but it was something like 34. Against my will, I started to work out how much she’d spent. Let’s say the cheapest reliable test is a tenner for two. That’s, good lord, 170 quid! How come Stacey has that sort of money to chuck about? That’s surely more than a week’s wages in the sandwich bar! By the time I emerged from my calculations, Smithy was in the church telling Nessa he wanted to stop her marriage even though she repulsed him, and I had no idea how we’d got here.

Nessa looked interestingly strange in her bronze wedding dress. I went off her a bit this week though. First, there was her meanness to Gwen, which went from being not very amusing to just plain horrible. Even her little speech about how Gwen was like a mother to her was undermined by an awkwardly ambiguous kiss on the lips.

Then, it should have been Nessa’s finest hour at the altar. But when Smithy accused her of not loving Dave, she stubbornly denied everything. It was left to Dave to stand up and be counted; it was rather moving when he said sadly that he knew she didn’t really love him. This was a chance for Nessa to show a bit of emotion at last, and certainly not be buffeted about by two men making decisions for her. But she didn’t have the balls. I fell into another plot hole thinking about what would have happened if Dave had said nothing and they’d got married. I wrote a new ending, and though I say so myself, it was a considerable improvement.

I did enjoy some of it. Every scene with Nessa’s Dad, for instance. Give the man his own show! ‘Played it straight’, he said modestly, of his TV extra work as a man in a coma. ‘Just laid there, you know.’

I also loved Mick’s face when he realised the Auden poem he was reading mentioned coffins. But this was yet another hole – had he not glanced at it before he stood up ? And really, did they have to include that poem, just so everyone could so, ‘Ooh it’s just like Four Weddings innit, ha ha’?

Best bit by a huge margin was Dave greeting John Prescott at the door of the church. Even from the couple of words he uttered, we could see JP is a terrible actor (actually we already knew this from his political work), but what a lovely understated little moment. All those mad stories of Nessa’s past were played out in this one blink-and-miss-it scene. Oh, if only the whole thing had been like this, what a masterpiece it could have been.

We were left with a cop-out ending: Stacey pregnant, Gav dead-eyed, and Nessa and Smithy… well who knows? A couple, or just co-parents? As with so much of this series, the audience was left to do too much of the work, and not in a good way. Much as it saddens me to say it, this really was a good time to pull the plug. I missed these characters after Series Two ended, but I don’t think I’ll miss them any more.

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True Blood 106: Having a little girl-time

I was about to say what a weird episode it was this week, then remembered that this is a show in which vampires live amongst us and drink synthetic blood. What I mean is, it was True-Blood-episode-six-001weirder than usual. Irritating Gran was daid, her blood all over the kitchen units, but no-one seemed that bothered. Oh yes, Sookie was numb with grief, but as Anna Paquin does numb so well – and so frequently – it was kind of hard to distinguish it from her normal demeanour.

Anyway she soon showed us the depths of her despair by telling everyone at the funeral to ‘fuck off’. As Sookie’s strongest cuss till now has been ‘My sainted aunt’, this told us she was feeling bad, without Anna P having to bother with any of that boring old acting stuff.

But everyone else was strangely unmoved. Jason let his six o’clock shadow grow, but otherwise seemed more concerned about going cold turkey on V. Sam was clearly only thinking about how he could get into Sookie’s knickers using the well-known aphrodisiac of a dead grandparent. Tara, who claimed to have loved Irritating Gran like a daughter, carried on wise-cracking as though she were helping her best friend through the loss of a hamster. And the assembled rednecks, sluts and grannies just didn’t seem sad enough for my liking. Maybe it’s the deep south way, and they were all sublimating their sorrow by making pies to bring to the wake. As Tara said bitchily, ‘Nothing says I’m sorry like a tuna cheese casserole’. 

Or maybe, whisper, it was a slack bit of script-writing? It’s distinctly possible, because the writers this week gave Tara’s appalling mother an unnecessarily large amount of screen-time, and she made the most of it with such an eye-rolling, mouth-working, scenery-chewing display that I could barely stop myself phoning Channel 4 and demanding to speak to whoever was in charge.

TB-bill-sookieSam and Bill squared up to each other in their bid to protect Sookie. This was handy for her, because Bill is good to go from dusk till dawn, while Sam keeps more conventional hours. Thus she effectively had a day-time boyfriend and a night-time boyfriend, which I’m starting to think has a lot to recommend it. We knew which one she liked best, because as the sun went down she put on a diaphanous nightie and galloped across the grass to Bill’s place like a demented Wuthering Heights re-enacter. It’s a cardinal law of drama that a virgin like Sookie has to experience a major life-changing event before she’s ready to have sex. It can’t just be that she feels a bit randy. Oh no. She has to have cleaned her dead grandmother’s blood off the linoleum with a J-cloth before she’s hot to trot.

It had been a quiet episode on the sex front; then suddenly, in the last five minutes, everyone was at it. Jason, looking distraught at the loss of his Gran – or his drugs, more likely – had meaningless nookie with last week’s trashy blonde. Tara and Sam settled once again for each other as the Stackhouse siblings were otherwise engaged. And most shocking of all, Sookie told a horny-looking and very fanged Bill to go ahead, in the midst of their love-making, and bite her.

‘No Sookie!’ we cried, ‘We’ve seen your wardrobe and you don’t have a polo-necked sweater to your name’, but Bill went for it anyway, biting into her white flesh as though she were a tuna cheese casserole.


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